Professor Michael Hand, University of Birmingham, will give the 3rd Annual Education Studies Lecture at the University of Derby on Wednesday 25 September 2019.

On the distinctive educational value of philosophy

Should philosophy be on the school curriculum? It certainly has general educational value: like other academic disciplines, it cultivates a range of intellectual virtues in those who study it. But this may not be a good enough reason to add it to the roster of established school subjects. The claim I will defend here is that philosophy also has distinctive educational value: there are philosophical problems that feature prominently and pressingly in ordinary human lives and that all children should be equipped by their education to tackle. Among these are the problems of justifying subscription to moral, political and religious standards. The significance of these problems for everyone is sufficient to warrant the introduction of compulsory philosophy in schools.

Chair and introduction: Dr Ruth Mieschbuehler

Venue: Institute of Education, University of Derby, Room: OL1, Free event

Emeritus Professor Stephen Ward, University of Bath Spa, gave the 2nd Annual Education Studies Lecture at the University of Derby on Wednesday 19 September 2018.

Education Studies as a University Subject: The Search for Truth.

In the lecture Prof. Stephen Ward will chart the growth of Education Studies from its origins in teacher training to its current status as a stand-alone subject with its own theoretical frameworks. He will trace the effects on the discipline of the political changes which have occurred in the move from the ‘modern’ to the ‘postmodern’ university. Stephen’s argument is that Education Studies frees students from the constraints of professional practice and offers them the opportunity to engage with and to critically analyse a wide range of exciting aspects of education as the means to human betterment and change. Stephen will emphasise the importance of global perspectives and discuss the roles of the contributory disciplines: Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, History and Economics as well as the employment opportunities for Education Studies graduates.

Chair and introduction: Dr Ruth Mieschbuehler

Venue: Institute of Education, University of Derby, Room: OL1, Free event


Mieschbuehler, R. (2018) The Minoritisation of Higher Education Students: An Examination of Contemporary Policies and Practice, London and New York: Routledge.


‘This is a timely and necessary challenge to what sometimes appears to be an unassailable orthodox position on educating students from an ethnic minority background. It will be a breath of fresh air even to the many who will disagree with its position, encouraging debate.’

Dr Kevin Yuill, Senior Lecturer in American History, University of Sunderland, UK

‘In this original and challenging book Ruth Mieschbuehler critiques mainstream thinking around minority ethnic attainment within education. She effectively demonstrates how policies designed to help reduce inequality can actually serve to increase the minoritisation of the recipients of such interventions’

Dr Ken McLaughlin, Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

‘University faculty, administrators, and instructors will benefit from this examination of the factors that lead to a perception, and troubling reality of an attainment gap among ethnic minority students in higher education. This book demonstrates through theory and student voices that the minoritisation of ethnic students is largely a result of unexamined tropes and perspectives. This is a critical examination of a debate that encompasses all university personnel who are invested in diverse and inclusive learning environments for students.’

Richard Reddick, Associate Professor in Educational Administration, University of Texas at Austin, USA.

Dr Mieschbuehler’s book will shake up conventional thinking about the ‘student-centred’ university by revealing the perverse consequences of well-intentioned policies and practices which undermine the academic achievement of all students. These policies and practices are riddled with and supported by the relativism that is rife in academia and in one powerful chapter she demolishes it. All academics, university managers and administrators need to read this book and take up her challenge to discuss and debate the issues she raises.

Dennis Hayes, Professor of Education, University of Derby, UK, and Director of Academics For Academic Freedom.

Dr Tony Sewell, founder and director of Generating Genius, gave the 1st Annual Education Studies Lecture at the University of Derby on Wednesday 20 September 2017.

Generating Genius: It’s cool to be a ‘geek’

Science is no longer a taboo subject for the young people from disadvantaged communities who attended the Generating Genius programme. The educational charity which behind the programme works with students throughout their secondary schooling to help them acquire the skills they need to win places at top universities. But the programme does not stop there the broader aim is to get students ‘from the classroom into the boardroom’. But what is so special about the support the programme provides to young people that it succeeds where many well-established schools have failed? Does the charity have a magic wand or is it something any school could adopt and provide? Here to discuss the initiative is Dr Tony Sewell, founder and director of Generating Genius, whose vision it was, when he founded the charity, to show schools, parents and the world that under-achievement was something that we could easily do something about.

Chair and introduction: Dr Ruth Mieschbuehler

Venue: Institute of Education, University of Derby, Room: T201, Free event